West Campus team – Gets the job done!

October 25, 2019

Yale’s West Campus is beautiful all year long, but especially in the fall, as its trees and bushes turn vibrant shades of red, yellow, and orange. The 136-acre campus includes 1.6 million square feet of space spread across 22 buildings. While mother nature works her autumnal magic on the grounds, the indoor spaces are maintained by the West Campus Physical Plant team.

Consisting of eight individuals, the team includes electricians, heating, ventilation, and air The West Campus Physical Plant Team!

conditioning (HVAC) mechanics, plumbers, and a locksmith. While the plumbers maintain or repair pipes, the electricians ensure wiring, outlets, and lights are working properly. The mechanics maintain the heating and cooling systems throughout the buildings. A new addition to the team is a locksmith, who has worked diligently changing over all the locks and keys from the previous system to Yale’s system and occasionally rescues individuals locked in or out of spaces.

Led by Facilities Senior Manager, Frank Pepe and Assistant Supervisor Richard Reid, the team works closely with their customers, responding to emergencies 24/7, while taking pride in maintaining 21 fully-occupied buildings with a small crew. When the team isn’t busy repairing leaks, making minor repairs, upgrading older equipment and systems, or responding to various emergencies, they focus on preventative maintenance. Over 1,700 individuals work and study at West Campus which consists of a mix of research, clinical, office, and warehouse space. “Our customer service base is what I consider high-end because it is mostly research labs and any needs or emergencies must be handled immediately,” said Frank Pepe.

West Campus Facilities also has a team of  HVAC mechanics who handle multiple trades including, controls, equipment, and refrigeration. Because of West Campus’ large amount of research labs, the mechanics are busy making sure the labs have a steady supply of steam, heat, and chilled water. Also, they ensure good, clean air quality is maintained in all buildings. They and the other members of this team also work closely with contractors during construction renovations, which often requires plumbing and electrical shutdowns, all of which are coordinated between those groups, campus leadership, and the customer. “We work closely with the administrative team to ensure campus-wide notices are sent when any major project or shutdown is about to occur,” said Frank.

The team:

Recently, the West Campus Area Physical Plant team, with 130 years of combined service, was asked to write down a little about themselves and their Yale experience, here is what was said:

  • David Bravecto, electrician, 12 years – David has a great sense of accomplishment in his work at Yale.
  • Craig Conyers, plumber, 34 years. Craig feels Yale offers a lot of opportunities. On the weekends, he enjoys hunting.
  • Anthony Grillo, HVAC mechanic, 13 years.
  • Brian Kluk, HVAC mechanic, 10 years.
  • Tony Muni, HVAC mechanic, 21 years.
  • Mark Noss, plumber, 14 years – Mark is grateful for all the many new and lifelong friends he has made throughout his 14-year career. After work, Mark has been a volunteer coach for Special Olympics for the past decade. He also referees high school football and umpires baseball.
  • Jason Opotzner, Locksmith, 6 years - Jason likes being able “to work with a great group of people from administration to my union brothers and sisters.” After work, he likes to spend time with family and friends.
  • Frank Pepe, III, 7 years - Frank got his start in this field working as a mechanic at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas and was later promoted to their Facilities Manager. Now at Yale, he enjoys the camaraderie he has with his staff.  After hour he likes a good game of golf and winter skiing.
  • Walter Potonic, electrician, 12 years. 
  • Richard Reid, supervisor, 1 year – Rich is very new to Yale, and enjoys the friendly atmosphere and willingness from everyone to help each other. He enjoys fishing on the weekends.

Thanks to all of you for keeping Yale’s West Campus running smoothly!